4 May 2004

RAMSI engaging ordinary people over rebuilding of Solomon Islands

3:22 pm on 4 May 2004

The Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands, or RAMSI, says it's flying to remote areas to ensure people are informed about what they're doing.

This follows a call by academic, Tarcisius Tara Kabutaulaka, for Solomon Islanders to take back control of their political processes and a warning that the thin line between assistance and occupation must not be crossed.

RAMSI's assistant special co-ordinator, Sekove Naqiolevu, says he is holding town-hall type meetings and they are reaching out to civil society.

He says they are also speaking to villagers around the country.

"The ordinary Solomon Islanders in the remotest parts. I mean, we flew to the other side of Atafili, landed in a mountain village there and people came, and we spoke to them and explained. They seemed to clearly understand and appreciative of what we're doing and they hope that we will continue to do what we're doing with a great deal of success."

Mr Naqiolevu says he has more meetings planned in Kira Kira and Temotu over the next couple of months.

And, he says RAMSI will be attending the workshop being organised by Dr Kabutaulaka n Beyond Intervention